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North Union Street Corridor 

A Community Vision Plan 


Produced by the 

Rochester Regional 

Community Design Center 

July 2008 

North Union Street Corridor 

A Community Vision Plan 

July 2008 Rochester, New York 

Produced by the 

Rochester Regional Community Design Center 

Writing and Editing: Jonathan Logan, Meaghan Cassidy, Joni Monroe 
Artwork: Juan Linares, Zak Steele, Stergios Zissis, Jonathan Logan 
Layout Design: Grace Guarino, Jonathan Logan, Daniel Cosentino 
Printed in Rochester, NY, by City Blue Imaging Services 
Cover Photograph: Dorothy Paige, Rural Opportunities, Inc. 


W J^^l community design cents h 

The Hungerford Complex 
1115 East Main Street 
Rochester, NY 14609 

©July 2008 


The Rochester Regional Community Design 
Center (RRCDC) thankfully acknowledges 
the important contributions of people and 
organizations who were involved with planning 
the mini-charrette, the mini-charrette event and 
the post-charrette process. We also extend thanks 
to those who contributed funding to the charrette 
event and those individuals and organizations 
who financially support RRCDC, helping to make 
the Marketview Heights Mini-Charrette and other 
charrettes possible. 

Thank you to the Marketview Heights Steering 
Committee; the mini-charrette facilitators for 

volunteering their time and professional skills; 
City Blue Imaging Services for their contributed 
services; the RRCDC volunteers, interns and staff; 
and the many others who have been generously 
involved in this process. 

A special thank you to the Rochester Area 
Community Foundation, City of Rochester, and 
Housing Opportunities, Inc., for contributing 
funds to help make the Marketview Heights Mini- 
Charrette possible. The Rochester City School 
District and the Dr. Freddie Thomas Learning 
Center also deserve thanks for hosting the mini- 
charrette event. 

Marketview Heights neighborhood residents, members of local community organizations, and design professionals hard at work dur- 
ing the North Union Street Corridor Mini-Charrette. Source: RRCDC 


Table of Contents 

Acknowledgements ii 

How We Got Here 2 

Executive Summary 3 

Introduction 4 

North Union Street History 5 

3^F North Union Street Today 8 

Mini-Charrette Coordination and Planning 10 

g The Mini-Charrette Event 1 1 

Mini-Charrette Base Map 12 

Mini-Charrette Focus Areas 13 

Mini-Charrette Results 14 

Community-Based Guiding Principles for Development 15 

Focus Area A 16 

Focus Area B 19 

Focus Area C 20 

Focus Area D 23 

Focus Area E 24 

Corridor Vision Development 27 

Corridor Vision Overview 28 

Plan A— East Main Street Node 33 

Plan B— Kenilworth/Weld Node 37 

Plan C— Public Market Node 41 

Plan D— Central Park Node 45 

Next Steps 49 

Summary and Conclusions 51 

Steering Committee Members and Charrette Facilitators 52 

Bibliography 53 

About RRCDC 54 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 

How We Got Here 

In March 2005, representatives from Housing 
Opportunities, Inc., Marketview Heights Associa- 
tion, Enterprise Community Partners, and the City 
of Rochester came together to discuss ideas for 
attracting investment to the Marketview Heights 
neighborhood. All agreed this would be a long- 
term effort that would need to be led and sus- 
tained by community stakeholders. 


Over the next two years, more than 150 neighbor- 
hood residents, business owners, churches and 
other institutions came together in numerous ven- 
ues to define their "vision" for the neighborhood. 
Their time, energy, ideas, and talents resulted in a 
neighborhood revitalization strategy... a blueprint 
for long-term change to attract investment. One 
of the key strategies was to conduct a community 
charrette to identify and begin improvements in 
the physical landscape. 

makina chanae happen 

This planning process has been, and continues 
to be, funded by the Rochester Community 
Development Collaborative, which includes the 
Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, United Way of 
Greater Rochester, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of 
America, the Bruner Foundation, City of Rochester, 
and Enterprise Community Partners. Additional 
funding and support are provided by the City 
of Rochester, Enterprise Community Partners, 
the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and 
Housing Opportunities, Inc. 

prepared for and with the 

Marketview Heights Collective Action Project 

February 2006 

for more information contact 

Rural Opportunities, Inc. 
400 East Avenue 
Rochester, NY 14607 

The cover of the Marketview Heights Neighborhood Revitaliza- 
tion Strategy: Making Change Happen document, the blueprint 
for attracting long-term change and investment. Source: ROI 


Executive Summary 

I n collaboration with the Marketview Heights 
I Steering Committee, comprised of residents from 
the Marketview Heights neighborhood, Rural Op- 
portunities, Inc., and Housing Opportunities, Inc., 
the Rochester Regional Community Design Center 
(RRCDC) prepared this community-based vision 
plan for the North Union Street corridor from East 
Main Street to Central Park. The document serves 
to provide a written and visual urban design vision 
reflecting the goals and ideas of community mem- 
bers for revitalization of their neighborhood and 
the corridor. 

This report incorporates ideas suggested by nearly 
40 residents and stakeholders at the Marketview 
Heights Mini-Charrette held at the Dr. Freddie 
Thomas Learning Center in October 2007. The 
document expresses these ideas as elements of 
good design and planning to create a healthy, 
viable community and as inspiration for the corri- 
dor's future development. The mini-charrette was 
proposed as the first phase of implementing the 
Marketview Heights Neighborhood Revitalization 
Strategy which was completed in February 2006. 
The formal planning process for the mini-charrette 

event began in April 2007 and involved a steering 
committee comprised of diverse neighborhood 
stakeholders from the Marketview Heights Collec- 
tive Action Project. Following the mini-charrette, 
the process of creating a vision for the North Union 
Street Corridor was carried out during late 2007 
and early 2008. 

The North Union Street Corridor Vision contains 
maps which include design and development 
recommendations for four nodes in the corridor 
between East Main Street and Central Park. General 
design concepts expressed as important by com- 
munity members at the mini-charrette are reflect- 
ed in these maps. These include: 

• Develop short-term, immediately achievable 

• Improve pedestrian realm experience 

• Create a unifying identity for the corridor 

• Capitalize upon vacant lots 

These concepts were instrumental in developing 
the vision and will serve as a guide for the com- 
munity as they work to create positive change 
throughout the corridor. 

Marketview Heights neighborhood residents, members of local organizations, and city officials helped to develop the vision for the 
North Union Street corridor and will be integral in the implementation process. Source: RRCDC 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 


The North Union Street Corridor Mini-Charrette 
is the first of four phases identified for imple- 
mentation over the next eight years as part of the 
Marketview Heights Neighborhood Revitalization 
Strategy. Completed in February 2006, the North 
Union Street Corridor was identified for immediate 
attention due to its high visibility, the presence of 
the Public Market, and the significant challenges it 
faces in addressing public safety, empty lots and 
buildings in need of rehabilitation. This area was 
chosen to begin implementing the Neighborhood 
Revitalization Strategy due to the following reasons 
as identified in the document: 

• Builds on some of our neighborhood's key assets, 
including the Public Market and some of our most 
stable residential areas. 

• Bridges to neighborhoods in need of high levels of 

• Includes a number of empty lots and unoccupied 
properties suitable for rehabilitation and creation 
of new homeownership opportunities. 

• Is an area with significant safety issues, identified 
as the number one problem in the neighborhood. 

• Is an area through which people from around 
the region travel, creating potential economic 
development benefits as well as an opportunity 
to show our pride. 

On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, nearly 40 community 
members met at the Dr. Freddie Thomas Learning 
Center with design professionals to participate in 
a community design mini-charrette to exchange 
ideas and begin developing a common vision 
for the future of the North Union Street Corridor. 
Those present included students, business own- 
ers, residents and other stakeholders from the 
Marketview Heights Neighborhood. The drawings 
and ideas generated at the mini-charrette were 
subsequently synthesized into tangible ideas for 

Marketview Heights neighborhood and the North Union Street 
Corridor Mini-Charrette area. Source: Marketview Heights Neigh- 
borhood Revitalization Strategy 

The Marketview Heights neighborhood is bounded 
to the north by Clifford Avenue and by the Inner 
Loop and East Main Street to the south; its eastern 
boundary is North Goodman Street, and its west- 
ern boundary is North Street. The North Union 
Street Corridor, one of the primary entrances to the 
Rochester Public Market, extends from East Main 
Street to Central Park and is centrally located in the 
southern half of the neighborhood. 

This report chronicles the processes before and 
after the mini-charrette. It illustrates the North 
Union Street Vision, which was developed by 
RRCDC based on the mini-charrette ideas and 
guided by the Marketview Heights Steering Com- 
mittee. Each section of the report explores differ- 
ent aspects of the community or the processes 
involved in creating and beginning to implement 
the vision. 

This report is intended to be a resource for mem- 
bers of the municipal government of the City of 
Rochester as well as any residents, business-owners 
and other individuals and organizations intending 
to develop or improve properties along the North 
Union Street Corridor. 


•I II 

Marketview Heights, as it's name suggests, is 
home of the Rochester Public Market. De- 
veloped on the site of the Moulson Nursery, the 
Market had previously been established at several 
locations in Rochester including along the Genesee 
River at Main Street and later at the Liberty Pole at 
East Main Street, North Street, Franklin Street and 
East Avenue. Relocation of the Liberty Pole Market 
was argued for by wealthy entrepreneurs to abate 
what was a public nuisance in their view. Through a 
process involving intense public debate, paralyzing 
political factions, a Market Commission created by 
state legislation, a downtown fire, and a petition by 
farmers, wholesalers, and grocers, the present-day 
location of the Public Market was chosen in 1904 
and opened for use in 1905. 

Prior to the development of the Market, Irish im- 
migrants first settled the area in the 19th century. 
Fleeing Ireland from the Potato Famine, these early 
residents created a predominantly working class 
neighborhood known as Cork. By the turn of the 
20th century, a diverse array of socio-economic 
groups joined the Irish including Polish, Russian, 
and German immigrants. Between 1905 and 1910, 
between 5,000 and 10,000 Italian immigrants 
moved to the neighborhood immediately sur- 
rounding the Market. 

North Union Street 

The population of Rochester more than doubled 
between 1900 and 1920, leading to an expanded 
demand for housing. The rapid increase in popula- 
tion perhaps contributed to the activities of local 
real estate developers such as Hiram W. Sibley and 
Hobart F. Atkinson who developed the land south 
of the New York Central Railroad corridor between 
Union Street, Alexander Street and East Avenue 
as the Sibley & Atkinson Tract. In reaction to the 
over-development of tenement housing, develop- 
ers such as Hiram W. Sibley and city officials sought 
to create "a city of homes" by constructing single- 
family neighborhoods. 

The arrival of large immigrant populations concen- 
trating in ethnic enclaves generated fears of cultur- 
al encroachment among the existing population. 
Efforts to "Americanize" the newcomers began 
through a social reform movement. Establishments 
by groups of women from prominent Rochester 
families, such as the Lewis Street Center, sought to 
instill American ways of cooking, raising children, 
and housekeeping in immigrant women. The new 
inhabitants adopted what worked more efficiently 
than their traditional ways but resisted efforts to 
change their cultural cooking habits, planting gar- 
dens to grow produce not locally available but vital 
to native dishes. 

View of Central Park looking west from Fifth Street (c. 
Source: Monroe County Library System 

1 900). Food vendors at the Public Market showing the original market 

office building (c. 1911). Source: Monroe County Library System 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 

The immigrant population relied on the Public 
Market for food and employment. However, by 
the 1920s, the question of the Market's utility was 
raised due to changes in technology such as ad- 
vancement of refrigeration techniques and the pro- 
liferation of the automobile. On the one hand, the 
dependence of the surrounding neighborhood on 
the Market for food and jobs incited a passionate 
commitment and vested interest in its preserva- 
tion. On the other hand, thousands of buyers and 
sellers were consistently plagued by the fact that 
the market did not have space to accommodate 
the new means of transportation being utilized by 
vendors. For many, the chaotic environment had 
become so intolerable that they turned to alterna- 
tive markets in Syracuse and Buffalo to sell their 

The first time that all parties dedicated to the 
continued existence of the Public Market convened 
at the Chamber of Commerce to discuss its future 
was in 1924. All agreed that the Market needed to 
be expanded if it were to continue to thrive. The 
West Report, commissioned in 1926, undermined 
the chance for the development of a new public 
market by asserting that most of the problems the 
Market faced could be resolved by "more efficient 
administration and new, strictly enforced rules." 
The threat of the creation of a state-owned, re- 
gional market prompted the city to make improve- 
ments in 1931, the benefits of which soon proved 
to be out-moded. 

Vendors and horse-drawn carts at the Public Market (c. 1911) 
looking from Railroad Street toward Union Street. Source: Mon- 
roe County Library System 

Debate over the future of the Public Market con- 
tinued throughout the Depression and well into 
the early 1 960s. After the opening of the Genesee 
Valley Regional Market in Henrietta in 1954, a larger 
number of growers moved to this new location 
with the hopes of capturing the business of nation- 
al chains. The anticipated rewards of moving to this 
facility, which possessed amenities the Public Mar- 
ket could not offer, did not materialize and many 
returned to the North Union Street location. Not 
until the Market Authority organized a tour of the 
Market for City Council and the County Board of 
Supervisors in February 1960, did a decision finally 
come to a head. Despite calls for the city to close 
the Public Market for the good of the community, 
the Council stood opposed. The Market would stay 
open as long as it was being used. 

The decision to keep the Public Market open 
proved to be viable as economic forces in the late 
1960s and early 1970s encouraged people to seek 
retail alternatives that restored a sense of commu- 
nity. Despite the ability of the Market to provide 
this, it and the surrounding neighborhood were 
once again being challenged, this time by the 
growing outflow to the suburbs and the competi- 
tion of the supermarkets. Other forces influencing 
the neighborhood included a wave of emigrants 
consisting of displaced African Americans from 
the South who came looking for work and nearby 
neighborhoods being cleared for urban renewal. 
These new residents, along with Puerto Ricans, 

View of North Union Street looking toward Central Park from 
Pennsylvania Avenue in 1906. Fremontes Market is on the 
left located at 309 North union. Source: Monroe County Library 


attempted to rejuvenate a neighborhood being 
rapidly vacated as the Italian-American residents 
moved to the suburbs. Unfortunately, the exodus 
occurred at a great pace and the financial back- 
ing also followed them to the suburbs. The loss of 
manufacturing jobs was the most significant chal- 
lenge in a neighborhood where the new residents 
were almost uniformly poor and lacked the skills to 
work in Rochester's high-tech industries. 

In 1967, northeast neighborhoods were selected as 
a part of President Johnson's Model City program 
and his War on Poverty for job training and low- 
income housing development initiatives. Some 
improvements were made although there was a 
disconnect between what was desired by City Hall 
versus the neighborhood residents, who felt they 
deserved a bigger role in the decision making pro- 
cess. The city's focus on the Public Market in light 
of other areas of critical need became a divisive 
topic among neighborhood residents. Despite the 
loss of federal funding for the Model City program 
in 1973, the Market and surrounding neighborhood 
continued to be a focus for development through 
the federal Neighborhood Development Act of 

Shoppers and vendors at the Public Market with the Bausch & 
Lomb "Navy Building" and Armory in the background (c. 1911). 
Source: Monroe County Library System 

For additional information about the Marketview 
Heights neighborhood, please see The Hands That 
Feed Us: 100 Years at the Rochester Public Market by 
Nancy Rosin. 

In 1978, city planners decided to exclude the 
largely Hispanic portion of Marketview Heights 
from the area to be developed with federal mon- 
ies, citing a lack of funding. The entire community 
around the Public Market united in opposition. For 
many the sight of an improved market amidst a 
sea of deteriorating houses was difficult to accept. 
It was also during this time that the area north of 
the railroad was designated as one of four sites for 
a future industrial park, causing funding available 
for housing rehabilitation and other improvements 
to be directed elsewhere. Efforts by local residents 
through neighborhood associations eventually 
lead to abandonment of this plan by the city and 
allowed organizations such as First Place, Hous- 
ing Opportunities, Inc., and Habitat for Humanity 
to develop new and rehabilitated housing to the 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 

Today the Marketview Heights neighborhood 
around the North Union Street Corridor contin- 
ues to be identified with the Public Market and face 
challenges. Five characterizations ranging between 
excellent and very distressed based upon evalua- 
tion of data pertaining to "poverty, wealth, educa- 
tion, work status, home ownership, vacant prop- 
erties and length of residence" capture levels of 
"stability and wellness" in the North Union Street 
Corridor of the Marketview Heights Neighbor- 
hood Revitalization Strategy (NRS). The document 
identifies physical elements such as the historic 
architecture, the Public Market, and the parks and 
open space within the neighborhood as assets and 
opportunities to build upon. 

The North Union Street Corridor contains assets 
and opportunities, a number of which contributed 
to its historic development. The Public Market con- 
tinues to draw thousands of visitors to the neigh- 
borhood every year. Many of the homes developed 

in the Sibley & Atkinson subdivision between 1900 
and 1920 remain today and are historically signifi- 
cant. The diverse history of the corridor is reflected 
in its present mix of uses including small neighbor- 
hood retailers and corner stores, single and multi- 
family homes, industry and civic space. 

The neighborhood also faces a number of issues 
and challenges. Public safety was the number one 
issue identified by the NRS document and contin- 
ues to be of top priority. Vacant and abandoned 
properties and poorly maintained public spaces 
(i.e. trash strewn lots, inadequate lighting, etc.) 
negatively contribute to public safety and the 
visual appearance of the corridor. There are also 
problems associated with gun violence and drugs. 

The tide is beginning to turn in the corridor as it is 
recognized as a significant gateway to the Public 
Market. There is an increase in attention from the 
city and other stakeholders to address some of the 


View looking north along Union Street toward Central Park from railroad trestle. The Rochester Public Market is on the right and the 
existing building on the left is proposed to be demolished to create more public market parking. Source: RRCDC 

View of North Union Street looking toward Central Park from 
Pennsylvania Avenue in 2007. Source: RRCDC 

Entrance to Rochester Public Market from North Union Street. 
Source: RRCDC 


challenges facing the neighborhood while capi- 
talizing upon its assets. Significant capital invest- 
ments at the Public Market are being planned 
by the City and in the neighborhood through a 
targeted neighborhood investment strategy as a 
result of the City-wide Rochester Housing Market 
Study completed in 2007. Private investors are 
also developing new businesses and housing in 
the neighborhood. Residents are also working to 
develop new community garden space on existing 
vacant lots in the corridor. 

In light of this renewed interest, the residents of 
the neighborhood have been adamant about 
facilitating revitalization without widespread dis- 
placement. Residents are pursuing a vision allow- 
ing them to share in the gains that occur and are 
committed to an "improvement, not displacement" 
approach to redevelopment. By leveraging the 
neighborhood's major asset, the Public Market, the 
resident's are seeking to spur improvements bring- 

ing out the community's potential in such a way 
that all can benefit. 

The vision plan created as a result of the Market- 
view Heights Mini-Charrette will provide a cohesive 
approach to guide corridor development activities 
and to capitalize upon its assets and opportunities 
while addressing issues and challenges. 

Residential properties lining North Union Street near Ontario 
Street. Source: RRCDC 

One of the existing industries found along the North Union 
Street corridor. Source: RRCDC 

Market on the corner of Weld and North Union streets. Source: 

Marketview Heights residents meeting to discuss plans for 
converting a North Union Street vacant lot into a community 
garden. Source: Pamela Reese Smith, ROI 

The site of a future restaurant at Trinidad and North Union 
streets. The building in the background occupies the site of 
future Public Market parking. Source: RRCDC 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 


Planning for the Marketview Heights Mini- 
Charrette began at the suggestion of the 
Marketview Heights Collective Action Project 
(MVHCAP). Mini-charrette coordination was guided 
by the Marketview Heights Steering Committee, 
composed of representatives from a variety of 
stakeholder groups working in conjunction with 
RRCDC. They began meeting during the spring of 
2007, where they reviewed a time line and plan- 
ning schedule, established the official Mini-Char- 
rette Steering Committee, and identified potential 

Steering Committee members represented a vari- 
ety of Marketview Heights stakeholders, including 
Rural Opportunities, Inc., Housing Opportunities, 
Inc., Marketview Heights Association, the Rochester 
Public Library, Enterprise Community Partners, the 
City of Rochester, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, 
The Community Place of Greater Rochester, and 
neighborhood residents. 

The Steering Committee met monthly with RRCDC 
to coordinate the mini-charrette. During meetings 
and walking tours of the area with RRCDC, much of 
the discussion and planning focused on the topics 
to be covered during the mini-charrette. The Steer- 
ing Committee defined the mini-charrette focus 
areas and identified major design concerns based 
on an assessment of the existing assets and prob- 
lem areas. The Steering Committee also helped to 
plan the structure of and coordinate the logistics 
for the event. 

Planning and carrying out the Marketview Heights 
Mini-Charrette required many hours of inten- 
sive work on the part of the Steering Committee 
members. The time commitment from individu- 
als was both a major challenge and a necessary 
ingredient in the mini-charrette process. Continued 
dedication through the post-charrette phase of the 
process now leaves the community poised to enter 
the implementation phase with confidence. 


Mini-Charrette Steering Committee Member Organizations 

Rural Opportunities, Inc. 
Housing Opportunities, Inc. 
Rochester Public Library 
Enterprise Community Partners 
Marketview Heights Association 

City of Rochester - Public Market, 

Community Development 
Neighbors Helping Neighbors 
The Community Place of Greater 


Neighborhood resident Rich Holowka presenting an overview 
of the Marketview Heights North Union Street Corridor project 
to the mini-charrette attendees. Source: RRCDC 

Residents and facilitators working on a vision for one of the 
nodes along the North Union Street corridor. Source: RRCDC 

Neighborhood residents Brandy Bryant and Devon Young 
volunteered to present their group's vision for one of the focus 
areas. Source: RRCDC 

The Marketview Heights Mini-Charrette took 
place on Tuesday, October 2, 2007, in the caf- 
eteria of the Dr. Freddie Thomas Learning Center in 
the Marketview Heights neighborhood. The event 
included nearly 40 neighborhood residents, stake- 
holders, and over a half-dozen design professionals 
and facilitators. A significant age range was repre- 
sented among the attendees; ideas and input were 
gathered from high-school students and senior 
neighborhood residents alike. 

The event began at 5:30pm with refreshments 
and several opening speakers. Introductions were 
made by Pamela Reese Smith of Rural Opportuni- 
ties, Inc. Remarks were made by Hanif Abdul-Wa- 
hid, Board President of the Marketview Heights 
Association; Susan Ottenweller, President of Hous- 
ing Opportunities, Inc.; and Gladys Santiago, Vice 
President of City Council. Neighborhood resident 
Rich Holowka discussed the history of Market- 
view Heights North Union Street Corridor project. 
RRCDC board member Timothy Raymond conclud- 
ed the introduction session with a presentation on 
principles of good urban design. Attendees were 
then broken into five different teams to explore 
five pre-determined focus areas. For an intense 
hour and a half, the teams, comprised of two 
design professionals and neighborhood stakehold- 
ers, explored their focus areas, taking note of both 
the positive and negative elements they observed, 
and drafting a vision for how they would like to see 
the node improved. Each of the focus areas were 
presented by residents to the larger group at the 
end of the evening. 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 1 





Focus Area A 

East Main Street Node - The focus area located at 
the southern entrance to the North Union Street 
corridor at its intersection with East Main Street. 

Focus Area B 

Kenilworth/Weld Node - The focus area addresses 
the intersection of Weld Street and Kenilworth Ter- 

Focus Area C 

Public Market Node - This focus area is located 
between Augusta Street and Pennsylvania Avenue 
and includes the entrance to the Public Market. 

Focus Area D 

Central Park Node - The focus area is located at the 
north end of the Union Street at its intersection 
with Central Park. 

Focus Area E 

Entire North Union Street Corridor - The entire 
North Union Street corridor from East Main Street 
to Central Park is incorporated into this focus area. 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 13 

The mini-charrette resulted in a diversity of 
thoughtful and creative suggestions for im- 
proving the North Union Street corridor. While 
each focus group concentrated on a specific topic 
and developed unique approaches to their par- 
ticular design challenges, similar themes also wove 
throughout many of the groups' results. In some 
cases the same specific idea arose independently 
in multiple groups. 

The following pages present the drawings and 
concepts produced at the mini-charrette. They are 
organized by focus area. General themes and main 

ideas that emerged in many focus groups were 
distilled by RRCDC and the Marketview Heights 
Steering Committee to become guidelines for de- 
velopment. Specific suggestions for development 
are also shown and described. 

The renderings and text on the following pages 
were produced by participants and facilitators dur- 
ing the 2007 mini-charrette. Aside from reducing 
or enlarging their scale, the images are unchanged 
from their genesis during the event. The written 
text is verbatim. 


Community-based Guiding Principles for Developme 

The following guiding principles with related examples were developed by 
the Steering Committee as a result of the input gathered during the mini 

Develop short-term, immediately achievable projects 

Improve pedestrian realm experience 
Better lighting 
More street trees 
Address building facades 
Create a unifying identity for the corridor 

Capture elements of Public Market and neighborhood history 
Capitalize upon vacant lots 

Green space (interim and permanent) 
Identify future development potential 







\ r 
























North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 15 


Focus Area A: East Main Street 

Description: The focus area located at the south- 
ern entrance to the North Union Street corridor at 
its intersection with East Main Street. 

Community Suggestions from the Charrette: 

• Sidewalks must pass inspection "trip ledge" 
- uneven edges 

• Photo 1 (Building on northwest corner of 
Central Park and North Union Street) - tan 
brick, sandblasting, add shine to coat brick and 
preserve exterior 

• Photo 5 (Building on northwest corner of Trini- 
dad and North Union Streets) - check base- 
ment foundation, strong enough? Cracks? 

• Photo 9 and 10 (Railroad trestle) - columns 
should be checked for cracks, deterioration 

• Check and repair concrete wall, top and bond 

• Photo 12 (Retaining wall for railroad bridge 
underpass) - concrete retaining wall repair 
needed, top and bond mortar 

• Public garden 

• Coffee shop/ice cream 

• Home sidewalk/allow street trees 

• Use wall/fence to tell history of market, etc. 

• Market study of the Market 















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Focus Area B: Kenilworth/Weld 

Description: The focus area addresses the 
intersection of Weld Street and Kenilworth Terrace. 

Community Suggestions from the Charrette: 


• Community involvement 

• Drug activity 

• Grocery store 

• Vacant houses 

• Vacant lots 

• Poor pavement quality 

• Bare, bleak 

• Litter 

• Speed 

• Adequate safe parking 

• Safety 


Theme: Public Market 

• Establish NET PAC-TAC, lighting 

• Nice Garbage Cans 

• Curb extension 

• Lot behind grocery store 

• Intersection treatments 

• Public market (or other) logo in pavement 
Design Guidelines: 

• Lighting - 'human scale' 

• Street trees 

• Planters 

• Color schemes 

• Fences 

• Public market banners 

• Gateway treatment 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 19 

Focus Area C: Public Market Node 

Description: This focus area is located between 
Augusta Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and 
includes the entrance to the Public Market. 

Community Suggestions from the Charrette: 

• Understanding Beautification 

• Drainage, lighting, painting/murals, pedes- 
trian railing, litter/garbage cans 

• Street Trees /Yards 

• Re-Use of 2 nd Bridge 

• Plantings -> "trolley" from new parking lot to 

• Better Booths (Market) 

• Replace parking lots on Pennsylvania/Union ■ 
and union by gate 

• New booths in new parking lot 

• New Restaurant 

• Parking Lot Landscaping 

• Open New Gate Southside Market 

• Ametek Facade 

• Banners 

• New Streetlighting Scheme 

• Flower Beds /Color 

• Grass/Landscape Slopes - colored stones, 
mural, art 

• Street Furniture 

• Trash receptors, benches, bus shelters 

• Affordable housing 

• Brick Crossings 


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- 4H i PH 

Focus Area D: Central Park Node • Ne 


Description: The focus area is located at the north 
end of the Union Street at its intersection with 
Central Park. 

Community Suggestions from the Charrette: 

Features / Impressions: 

• New housing 

• Vacant lot 

• Art/greenspace 

• Wading pool? Water feature seen in other 

• Community garden (veggies) 

• Gateway feature 

• Cornstalk (market symbol) 

• Substantial to discourage vandalism 

• Logo on banners/flags 
Banners/flags across street 


Crosswalks different texture (cobbles, etc.) 



Need kiosks 

Celebrate diversity of neighborhood and mar- 

Market 5/7 days a week would increase busi- 
ness activity/investment 

• Possible median on west side of intersection 

• Street trees 

• Niagara street green area 

• Water feature (wading?) 

• Brick low wall w/market logo, welcome etc. 
(could be done on other corners) 

• Need pathways (otherwise people will make 
their own) 

Building Facades: 

Open up lower levels 
Coffee shop 

Fix up facades: neighborhood might look into 
working w/city to get funding to beautify/up- 

Too many signs/boards 
Pennsylvania/First street buildings, ethnic 

Cameras on corners? City "eye in sky" 

Open up building first floors so people can see 
street activity 
Events/concerts storefront 
Too many corners stores and churches 
City may have funding for lighting/security 

Attractive iron gratings over windows 












North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 23 


Focus Area E: North Union Street 

Description: The entire North Union Street 
corridor from East Main Street to Central Park is 
incorporated into this focus area. 

Community Suggestions from the Charrette: 

Neighbor Identity: 

• Identifiable Signage 

• Locally Owned Businesses 

• Established Good Neighborhood 

• Design Principles 
Facade Grant Program: 

• Public Safety 

• Street Cameras 

• Street Lights 
Establishing Good Community 
How To Generate 24/7 Community: 

• Street Lights 

• Street Parking - New curb cuts / Painted to 

• Growth From Public Market 

• Establish Design Principles 

• Ornate Bridge Underpass 

• Target Union and Weld 
• Public safety concern 

• Key Gateways along Union, related to public 

Street Walks: 

• "Farm to Market" theme 

• Street name - symbolic change 

• Gateway Design - Using Public Market building 
style throughout neighborhood 

• Especially at Weld and Union 

Using Public Space to Generate Improved Public 



Vision Plan 

fter the mini-charrette, the ideas raised were 
translated into design concepts and shown on 
maps. The result of this process is a vision plan for 
the North Union Street Corridor. During this first 
phase of post charrette work for the North Union 
Street Corridor Vision, RRCDC , in consultation 
with the Marketview Heights Steering Committee, 
refined and built upon the ideas raised at the mini- 
charrette and began to formulate strategies for 

This vision plan is important for a variety of rea- 
sons. It is based on ideas generated at the mini- 
charrette and serves as a record of those ideas and 
recommendations. Working in this format ensures 
continuity and coordination, effectively tying to- 
gether what is done in one area of the community 
with that in another in an overall strategy. It allows 
the community a resource it can employ when 
explaining strategies, seeking funding and encour- 
aging investors to support development ideas. A 
documented vision is valuable for the community 
to refer to when issues develop regarding planning 
and zoning. It serves as a planning tool and a map 
for short and long-term project development and 

Although the term "plan" is used to describe 
aspects of the vision, it should be recognized this 
is not a static document. It will take additional 
planning and implementation over the course of 
ensuing years to achieve the vision generated here. 
During this time, conditions will change and new 
opportunities not foreseen may arise. This docu- 
ment allows the flexibility to respond to these 
changes for the benefit of the corridor as a whole. 


North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 27 

The North Union Street Corridor Vision Plan is 
comprised of the final plans, renderings and 
written descriptions provided in the following 
section of this report. The plans presented areas 

• Mini-Charrette Area Plan; 

• Plan A— East Main Street Node; 

• Plan B— Kenilworth/Weld Node; 

• Plan C— Public Market Node; and 

• Plan D— Central Park Node. 

The Mini-Charrette Area Plan depicts the overall 
North Union Street Corridor and indicates the node 
locations. Each node, labeled A through D, pres- 
ents the proposed improvements for that segment 
of the corridor. The proposed improvements are 
color-coded and a legend is provided to indicate 
the type of development or enhancement each 
color represents. In addition, specific elements are 
labeled on the drawings to indicate the type of 
improvement envisioned. 

A written summary outlines the major proposed 

Some improvements envisioned are common to 
the entire corridor and relate to concepts identified 
in the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy and/or 
developed as a result of the mini-charrette. These 

An example of an immediately achievable beautification proj- 
ect - planters. Source: RRCDC 

An example of an immediately achievable beautification proj- 
ect - gateway banners. Source: RRCDC 

• The creation of dedicated on-street parking 
distinguished by bump-outs along the west 
side of the street; 

• Additional sources of lighting, which combine 
street and pedestrian lights on one pole. These 
light poles would also accommodate new signs 
or banners celebrating the corridor's con- 
nection to the Public Market with a "Farm to 
Market" theme; and 

• More street trees, the character of which would 
not preclude visual safety or negatively impact 
existing or proposed lighting. 

An example of an immediately achievable beautification proj- 
ect - window boxes. Source: RRCDC 


The development and installation of more contemporary ban- 
ners along North Union Street is one idea to help to beautify 
the corridor. Source: Dorothy Paige, ROI 

Develop Short-term, Immediately 
Achievable Projects 

One of the guiding principles generated by the 
Marketview Heights Steering Committee as a result 
of the mini-charrette was to develop short-term, 
immediately achievable projects. These projects 
include the design and installation of banners, 
landscaping and signage to celebrate the neigh- 
borhood. While these elements can be installed in 
phases at specific intersections or nodes, it is felt 
that their installation throughout the entire corri- 
dor would give a strong unifying approach. 

An example of proposed pedestrian realm improvements 
- bump outs. Source: RRCDC 

Improve Pedestrian Realm 

Improving the pedestrian realm experience is an 
important element of the vision for the corridor. 
As a major gateway for the neighborhood, North 
Union Street provides the first impression for 
visitors and residents. Planting more street trees, 
encouraging facade improvements to buildings 
and investing in better lighting can help to create 
a better experience along the corridor. The resi- 
dents at the mini-charrette and members of the 
Steering Committee repeatedly emphasized the 
importance of improved lighting to increase public 
safety throughout the corridor. The street trees 
will provide an element of greenery throughout 
the corridor and provide shade for pedestrians but 
should not visually obstruct views of the street or 
create an unsafe pedestrian environment. Build- 
ing facades of retail establishments should feature 
transparent openings to allow passersby the ability 
to see in and allow patrons and owners alike to be 
able to view the street scene. Controlling the speed 
of cars through the corridor is also desirable to 
create a safer pedestrian experience. Traffic calm- 
ing elements include the installation of bump-outs 
and speed tables. 

An example of proposed pedestrian realm improvements 
- speed tables. Source: Fairfax County, VA 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 


Create Unifying Identity to the 

The residents and Steering Committee would 
like the corridor to have a unified identity that 
expresses its connection to the Public Market and 
the neighborhood's history. The "Farm to Market" 
theme emerged from the mini-charrette as a way 
to capture the importance of the Public Market 
and the neighborhood as a gateway for goods to 
the city from the surrounding agricultural areas. 
The development of gateway elements, in partner- 
ship with local artists and residents, at either end 
of the corridor would celebrate this connection. 
Incorporating elements of the neighborhood's 
history in these gateways and in other locations 
such as on retaining walls with murals gracing their 
surfaces near the Public Market. The railroad trestle 
is also a significant landmark which can be used to 
celebrate the neighborhood's past while looking 
toward the future. 

Capitalize Upon Vacant Lots 

There are a number of vacant lots dispersed along 
North Union Street as well as abandoned homes 
in need of repair or demolition. The community 
desires to treat these as assets to be developed for 
the positive benefit of the neighborhood, revers- 
ing their current negative influence. Some of 
these vacant lots are planned to be developed as 
community garden spaces. At certain locations, 
this may be a temporary, short-term reuse option. 
There are other sites which the community may 
wish to permanently designate as green space. Va- 
cant houses should be evaluated for their potential 
rehabilitation into workforce housing. The commu- 
nity should work with the city, private developers, 
and other stakeholders to determine the reuse op- 
tions that meet the needs of neighborhood while 
balancing economic viability. 

Color Legend 



Roads and selected parking lots 
Cars JHjL* 



Existing buildings 

New buildings, facades, site construc- 
tion (gateways, fences, sculptures) 


Bushes, evergreens 
Existing street trees 


! | 

Proposed street trees 







Proposed site for future community garden along North Union 
Street. Source: RRCDC 





Vacant lot at the intersection of East Main and North Union 
streets. Source: RRCDC 

Existing Conditions 

The East Main Street Node of North Union Street is 
the primary gateway to the corridor from the south 
as well as the eastern gateway to downtown. There 
are a number of commercial buildings along East 
Main Street, some of which are sensitive to their 
urban context and others which are not. The north- 
west corner of the Main and Union street intersec- 
tion is a vacant lot while the southwest corner is 
occupied by a remaining portion of the historic 
Anderson Park. 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 33 

Overview of Vision Features in 
Plan A 

Create a Gateway Element 

The gateway nature of this node will be captured 
by installing gateway elements to draw attention 
to the corridor and its relationship to the Public 
Market. Initially, these elements may take the form 
of banners and/or landscaping. Eventually, sculp- 
tural elements created by local artists working with 
neighborhood residents will highlight the "Farm to 
Market" theme of the corridor. 

Improve Pedestrian Realm 

The pedestrian realm at this node will be improved 
by installing new light poles providing street and 
pedestrian lighting equipped to display banners, 
and screening the existing parking area associated 
with the adjacent commercial uses with a new 
decorative fence. A long-range goal is plant more 
street trees in an expanded tree lawn created by 
replacing the existing sidewalk with one situated at 
the back of the right of way. 

Capitalize upon Vacant Lots 

The vacant lots existing at this node present the 
opportunities for the development of new build- 
ings and the creation of community green spaces. 
The vacant lot at the corner of East Main Street and 
North Union should be developed sensitive to the 
site's context as a major gateway to the neighbor- 
hood and downtown. Parking would be located 
behind the building and utilize green building 
techniques such as rain gardens. Three of the other 
vacant lots are proposed for infill housing. To cap- 
ture the neighborhood's connection to the Public 
Market, two of the vacant lots are proposed as sites 
for community gardens. 

An example of a sculptural gateway element from the ARTWalk 
neighborhood that could be created by local artisans and 
neighborhood residents. Source: RRCDC 

Example of a parking lot rain garden storm water management 
in Portland, OR. Source: Jonathan Logan 


Corner store located at the intersection of Kenilworth Terrace, 
Weld Street and North Union Street. Source: RRCDC 

Existing Conditions 

The Kenilworth/Weld Node of the North Union 
Street Corridor is representative of the historic 
nature of the neighborhood as well as many of the 
contemporary challenges it faces. A small corner 
store exists and is reflective of the former "urban 
village" nature of the neighborhood. A mix of 
single-family, multi-family, owner-occupied and 
rental residences surround the intersection. Addi- 
tionally, there are a number of vacant lots as well as 
abandoned homes scattered throughout the node. 
The intersection of Kenilworth Terrace, Weld, and 
North Union streets is also a location with drug and 
other public safety challenges. 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 37 

Overview of Vision Features in 
Plan B 

Address Vacant Lots 

It is the desire of the community to have the exist- 
ing vacant lots in this node landscaped as either 
interim or permanent green spaces. These activities 
would involve installing more attractive fencing 
or engaging local artists to help residents paint or 
otherwise address the existing city-installed wood- 
en posts in a more aesthetically pleasing manner. 
The installation and maintenance of landscaping 
should also engage residents, especially youth. 

Improve the Pedestrian Realm 

To address the public safety issues it is desired to 
have more lighting installed at the intersection and 
along the corridor. These poles would be equipped 
with both street and pedestrian appropriate light 
fixtures and be able to display banners. The instal- 
lation of bump-outs at intersections would create 
more visible pedestrian crossing zones while also 
better distinguishing appropriate areas for on- 
street parallel parking. The installation of a "Farm 
to Market" emblem at the intersection would help 
to extend the connection of the neighborhood to 
the Public Market through the corridor. A long- 
term goal would be to create a larger tree lawn for 
street trees by installing a new sidewalk situated 
at the rear of the pubic right of way along the east 
side of the street. 

Vacant lot greening in Philadelphia. Source: Philadelphia Green 

Artist rendering of new street trees, signage and lighting with 
banners along North Union Street. Source: RRCDC 


Existing Marketview Heights community mural located at the 
railroad trestle along North Union Street. Source: RRCDC 

Existing Conditions 

The Public Market Node contains largely commer- 
cial and industrial uses. New and existing busi- 
nesses are found along North Union Street. The 
railroad trestle underpass presents opportunities 
and challenges. The retaining walls necessary to 
create the underpass offer surfaces for local arti- 
sans and residents to install murals but the condi- 
tions of these structures needs to be evaluated and 
possibly improved. Major investments on the part 
of the city will lead to additional parking and im- 
proved pedestrian circulation at the Trinidad Street 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 41 

Overview of Vision Features in 
Plan C 

Improve the Pedestrian Realm 

The pedestrian realm in the Public Market node is 
envisioned to be improved through the installation 
of better lighting, more street trees and landscap- 
ing, crosswalks, and murals along the existing 
retaining walls. The underpass should have new 
lighting installed. The city should continue pursu- 
ing access to the second railroad trestle to allow 
the installation of a pedestrian and shuttle access 
to the Public Market from the new parking area. 
Bumpouts are envisioned for the west side of the 
street to provide better visibility of pedestrians 
at crosswalks. It is desired that the steeply sloped 
areas adjacent to the railroad underpass be land- 
scaped and/or reshaped with new retaining walls 
and murals. 

Infill Vacant Lots 

There are a number of vacant lots which are identi- 
fied to be reused through new infill development 
or redeveloped as new parking areas. The larger of 
these lots will provide new parking and overflow 
vending space for the Public Market while another 
will be used by a new restaurant for parking and 
outdoor seating. The empty lot at the corner of 
North Union Street and Pennsylvania Avenue is 
envisioned to be a redeveloped as a mixed use 
building incorporating affordable housing. 

Adopt Green Technologies 

It is the desire of the neighborhood to be a greener 
place in its physical redevelopment. Therefore, 
green technologies such as permeable paving, rain 
gardens, and an alternative fuel (biodiesel, electric, 
etc.) shuttle for the Public Market parking area are 

The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, MA, an example for 
developing the trestle linking the Public Market to the new 
parking area. Source: Flickr, erjkprunczyk 

The installation of the "WallTogether" mural in by the Armory 
Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL. Source: Elle Schorr Photogra- 

Example of sidewalk dining seating. Source: RRCDC 

An area landscaped by community residents at the corner of 
North Union and Niagara streets. Source: RRCDC 

Existing Conditions 

The Central Park Node is the northern gateway 
into the North Union Street Corridor. The recon- 
figuration of the intersection of Niagara and North 
Union streets created an area of greenspace at the 
southeastern corner. The southwestern corner is 
vacant and used as a parking lot. Existing commer- 
cial buildings occupy the two remaining corners 
and are in need of facade improvements. There are 
more generous tree lawns and these have been 
utilized to install street trees. The node is not very 
well lit, leading to public safety issues. The existing 
median along Central Park begins here and contin- 
ues east, providing a significant area for landscap- 
ing. Neighborhood residents have also landscaped 
a small corner parcel at Union and Niagara. New 
infill housing was developed along the western 
side of North Union Street in this node. 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 45 

Overview of Vision Features in 
Plan D 

Create a Gateway 

As the northern gateway to the corridor, the 
community desires to capture the "Farm to Market" 
theme by installing a sculpture and decorative 
fencing at the corner. These elements should be 
developed in partnership with local artists and 
community residents. 

Improve the Pedestrian Realm 

There are issues of public safety to be addressed 
through a number of physical improvements 
including new lighting, speed tables, new cross- 
walks and bumpouts. The speed tables are located 
so as to discourage drivers from speeding to beat 
the light. The installation of a narrow landscaped 
median on the west side of the Central Park and 
North Union Street intersection is intended to 
provide a refuge for pedestrians crossing the street 
in the event that the light changes. Planters, street 
trees, and facade improvements are also intended 
to improve the pedestrian realm. 

Capitalize Upon Vacant Lots 

This node also contains a number of vacant and 
underutilized lots that are opportunities to im- 
prove the corridor. One double lot has been a site 
around which the neighborhood has united to 
create a community garden. The large green space 
created from the reconfiguration of Niagara Street 
is also desired to be a location for community gar- 
dens with plots available for residents to grow their 
own vegetables. It is envisioned this space would 
also contain a water spray park and a performance 
space for neighborhood children. The southwest- 
ern corner of Central Park and North Union Street 
as well as First Street are locations where new infill 
buildings are desired. 

Example of facade improvements. Source: RRCDC 

Neighborhood residents and students from Edison Tech begi 
work on the North Union Street Life Garden. Source: Pomelo 
Reese Smith, ROI 

Example of context sensitive infill buildings. Source: RRCDC 


RRCDC will assist the Marketview Height Steering 
Committee as is embarks upon the development of 
this action plan. It will help to: 

• Identify and prioritize action items into goals 
and objectives; 

• Assist with the development of partnerships 
with other organizations adept at creating 
graphic designs capturing the "Farm to Market" 
theme for the corridor; 

» Establish partnerships between local artisans 
and community residents to develop sculptural 
gateway elements; 
» Continue to engage the City of Rochester and 
other neighborhood stakeholders in their plan- 
ning efforts related to the targeted neighbor- 
hood investment strategies: 

To ensure the vision of the community is 
given careful consideration as future devel- 
opment is pursued; 

• Engage neighborhood residents in devel- 
oping plans and strategies for greening 
vacant lots; 

• Work with city agencies, the local NET of- 
fice, business organizations and residents 
to address public safety issues emanating 
from activities occurring on the street and 
within local establishments. 

These activities would be applicable not only to 
the North Union Street Corridor but to the larger 
neighborhood. Key items they should seek to ad- 
dress are: 

• Problem properties; 

• Community development issues; and 

• Developing collaborations. 

Neighborhood residents and Edison Tech students completing 
a cleanup of the North Union Street Life Garden. Source: Pamela 
Reese Smith, ROI 

Preparation of one of the planting beds at the North Union 
Street Life Garden. Source: Pamela Reese Smith, ROI 

ju ucsiqia qqqqpm M 

Summary and Conclusions 

Planning, carrying out, and following up the 
Marketview Heights Mini-Charrette have been 
parts of a process to help community members 
take steps towards setting and achieving goals 
for their neighborhood. The vision presented in 
this report will provide the residents of the North 
Union Street Corridor and the Marketview Heights 
neighborhood with a record of the ideas commu- 
nity members developed during the visioning pro- 
cess. The report is a guide to follow as the commu- 
nity proceeds with revitalization efforts. The efforts 
put forth to create this vision must be followed 
with actions during the implementation phase. The 
upcoming steps will be exciting but challenging. 

The visioning process and mini-charrette can serve 
as a model for future planning projects in the 
Marketview Heights neighborhood and surround- 
ing communities seeking to revitalize or plan for 
their future. Communities of many types can follow 
this basic model of engaging citizens, forging new 
community relationships, exploring the physi- 
cal and social aspects of their area, and working 
together to develop consensus. Communities that 
engage in these processes will often discover that 
simply embarking on this journey will lead to the 
emergence of many unexpected yet welcome 
long-term effects. / 

Community residents discuss with city officials their vision for 
the Marketview Heights neighborhood and the North Union 
Street corridor. Source: RRCDC 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 51 

Steering Committee Members 
and charrette facilitators 

Marketview Heights North Union Corridor Steering Committee 

Alma Balonon-Rosen 
Roberto Burgos 
Carolyn Daniels 
Peter Faris 

Jim Farr 
Theo Finn 
Barbara Fox 
Evan T. Green 
Hank Herrera 
Rich Holowka 
Melanie Lew 
Jean Longchamps 

Alan Oberst 
Susan Ottenweller 
Dorothy Paige 
Bill Reddig 
Pamela Reese Smith 
Charlie Richardson 
Amy Robbins 
Millie Sefranek 
Luke Stodola 
John Wiltse 
Spring Worth 

Mini-Charrette Facilitators 

Tim Burke Alan Oberst 

Lew Childs Amy Priestley 

Joni Monroe Tim Raymond 

Peter Morse 



Mack Consulting Associates. (1 986). Historic Resources Survey of the City of Rochester, New York 1986. Volume 
II. Rochester, NY: City of Rochester. 

Marketview Heights Collective Action Project. (2006). Marketview Heights Neighborhood Revitalization 
Strategy: Making change happen. Rochester, NY: Rural Opportunities, Inc. 

Rosin, Nancy. (2005). The Hands That Feed Us: 100 Years at the Rochester Public Market. Rochester, NY: City of 

North Union Street Corridor Community Vision Plan 53 

About RRCDC 

The mission of the non-profit Rochester 
Regional Community Design Center (RRCDC) 
is to act as a multifaceted resource center to assist 
municipalities and citizens of the Greater Rochester 
Region to define, understand, promote and 
implement concepts of design excellence and 
sustainability for the public realm and built 

One of our most effective means of civic engage- 
ment is the community design charrette, an inten- 
sive, participatory planning process that brings 
together a variety of community stakeholders to 
observe and share ideas about their community. 
Together they produce tangible steps toward 
achieving neighborhood consensus for a commu- 
nity vision. As facilitator, we work with a steering 
committee of neighborhood representatives to 
plan the charrette, provide design professionals 
at the event to help translate citizens' ideas into 
physical drawings, and follow through with those 
initial ideas to create a final set of plans and recom- 
mendations for the community. 

Since we began our work as the AIA Rochester 
Urban Design Committee (UDC) in 1998, the 
group has facilitated over twenty community 
design charrettes, including the Center City Char- 
rette that resulted in a community-based vision for 
Rochester's downtown and was a starting point for 
the 2007 Downtown Charrette. Other design 
charrettes facilitated by the RRCDC include the 
University Avenue Charrette that resulted in 
construction of the award-winning ARTWalk 
project. In 2004, we officially incorporated as a 
501(c)(3) non-profit organization and continue to 
serve our region.